A Guide To PMBOK® in project management?

Before we dive into PMBOK, it is necessary to know what is project and project management

What is a project?

A project is a series of tasks that need to be completed in order to reach a specific outcome. These projects are supervised by a project manager. Most projects are supervised by project managers who are certified PMP or PMBOK.

What is Project management?

Project management is the practice of initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing the work of a team to achieve specific goals and meet specific success criteria at the specified time. The primary challenge of project management is to achieve all of the project goals within the given time and funds issued.


PMBOK stands for Project Management Body of Knowledge and it is the entire collection of processes, best practices, terminologies, and guidelines that are accepted as standards within the project management industry. The first edition of the PMBOK Guide was published in 1996. Since then, this guide has been re-published every four years. As different methods are devised by experts so it is continuously updated. This responsibility is taken by PMI (Project management Institute) which updates PMBOK Book regularly by disseminating previous information and uploading new information. The current version is the 6th Edition (at publishing time)

Brief History of PMBOK

The first meeting of PMI was held in 1969. The first credential was PMP (Project Management Professional). Later on, PMBOK was released in March 1987.

  • 1996 – PMBOK Guide, First Edition is released.
  • 2000 -PMBOK Guide, 2000 Edition is released.
  • December 2004, – PMBOK Guide, Third Edition is released.
  • December 2008, – PMBOK Guide, Fourth Edition is released.
  • December 2012, – PMBOK Guide, Fifth Edition is released.
  • June- August 2017, – PMBOK Guide, Sixth edition is released.


PMBOK has been used as the standard by which PMP Certification is obtained. PMP certified persons are preferred over non-certified persons as they have more grip on project management as compared to non-certified.

Companies prefer certified over non-certified as they can

  • handle a variety of projects in an excellent way
  • Help the company’s survival in crisis time by doing efficient work minimizing costs
  • They already know what works and what does not so they prevent project failures.

PMBOK Structure

Project management jobs are increasingly globally. People are adopting it as a career path and a subject for training and education. The PMBOK framework consists of five process groups, ten knowledge areas, and 47 project management (PM) processes. The knowledge areas group the PM processes by project management content.

  1. Initiating

The initiating process group involves the processes, activities, and skills needed to effectively define the beginning of a project. It sets parameters, has a budget in place, initializes teams and describes workflow with initial project activities throughout all project phases.

  1. Planning

The Planning Process Group check the scope of the project and create strategic plans to achieve it in the proposed time. It also gives cost estimation along with the budget required for a particular project.

  1. Executing

The executing process group involves managing teams to reach milestones within the assigned time. It requires addressing team concerns by using your communication skills and handling complex situations so you can deliver in time within the budget assigned for it.

  1. Monitoring and Controlling

Monitoring involves processing change orders, addressing on-going budget considerations, and controlling involves how you handle unforeseen circumstances which will affect your team directly or indirectly resulting in an inability to meet project expectations.

In these circumstances, certified project managers work with a team to complete the project within the time allocated. This is possible only by tracking, reviewing and regulating progress and performance of the team. You may have to change the plan of action for moving forward.

  1. Closing

Closing does not simply mean completing the project, it means completing the project in time and in the budget allocated for it.

You have to check regularly that every person has performed his duty otherwise successful closing is not possible. In PMBOK, you are trained well for completing the project within the allocated time.

The 10 Knowledge Areas of Project Management

These are as follows

  • Integration- integrating all persons so you can manage them.
  • Cost- calculating project costs by estimating each project task costs to give an accurate estimate.
  • Scope- what your project will deliver and how it will affect the company.
  • Quality- making quality control standards so you can meet your company’s expectation of the high-quality project.
  • Time- estimating the total project duration carefully considering time allocated for different project tasks.
  • Procurement- It supports all your procurement and supplier work from planning what you need to close the contract.
  • Communications- its main role of project manager so he should monitor and communicate with the team effectively. 80% role of a project manager is communication.
  • Stakeholder management- It involves identifying stakeholders and understanding their role in project management.
  • Risk management- it involves identifying risk and managing it so it doesn’t affect the project’s pace.
  • Human resources- estimating how many persons you require for completing this project. Perfect estimate will save the company’s resources.

The 47 PMBOK Processes

“Standardization of processes remains at the heart of all effective business models and plans. Project manager transforms isolated processes into a collaborative effort.” These processes are classified under 5 different process groups.

Summary of the PMBOK Guide

PMBOK Guide doesn’t guide you in an exact manner, it just shows the path. It is a general guide as it is not inclined to any specific industry.

It provides framework, tools and techniques and best industry practices. It is insufficient alone. You should take training to understand PMBOK. Before we dive into PMBOK, it is necessary to know what is project and project management.

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